I was very pleased to see that the National House Building Federation have at long last identified that part of the reason that house prices have remained stubbornly high despite recessionary pressure is due to the very low level of planning permissions granted for redevelopment.

I am the first to accept that there must be proper scrutiny and processes to protect the environment but not all new development is bad. There is a real need for a greater supply of housing particularly for the next generation of house buyers.

The swing from ownership to rentals has been significant but the more people I speak to tell me they want to own their own home. This is not just an investment decision but an ownership issue.

There are plenty of self interest groups representing wildlife and the environment. Let’s have some balance and see some proper representation for that significant and important group of people; First Time Buyers….they would like to own a home too.

On the subject of house prices I believe that the totally extortionate rate of stamp duty needs to be addressed. This was nothing more than tax loaded and raised due to rising house prices. It has in my opinion not received the scrutiny it should have done as rapidly rising values camouflaged the rate increase. I believe that as homeowners saw this as dead money they stayed put and extended…again cutting off the supply of property…

Ed Mackenzie Smith